Ductless Heat Pumps: An Alternative To Ducted HVAC Systems


Considered upgrading your current HVAC system? Depending on your home's heating and cooling needs, you may be able to benefit from a ductless heat pump. Like traditional heat pumps, ductless heat pumps offer energy-efficient heating in mild climates and effective cooling under the toughest heat.

The following explains why installing a ductless heat pump is a good idea for your home, especially if your home wasn't designed with ductwork in mind.

How Does It Work?

There's not much difference between a central heat pump and a ductless heat pump, in most respects. Both consist of an outdoor unit housing the compressor and condenser coil and an indoor air handler housing the evaporator coil and blower fan, but that's where the similarities end.

As the name suggests, ductless heat pumps don't rely on a network of ducts to deliver conditioned air. Instead, the air handler itself provides the heating and cooling directly to each room. Each air handler is wall-mounted, eliminating the central cabinet typically associated with ducted HVAC systems.

Most ductless units are directly controlled via remote, eliminating the traditional thermostat. However, your heating contractors may be able to incorporate traditional thermostat controls into your new ductless setup.

Why Go Ductless?

Central HVAC systems are an extraordinarily popular choice among homeowners, with over 100 million homes throughout the United States equipped with such systems, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But while most homes are built to accommodate central HVAC systems, there are plenty of older homes that weren't built with such systems in mind. As a result, installing a ducted heating and cooling system could prove to be an expensive and hassle-laden endeavor.

Instead of investing thousands of dollars on ductwork that requires careful design and constant maintenance, you could install a ductless heat pump system at a significant discount. According to CostHelper, it could cost as much as $15,000 to install a complete central heat pump system with new ductwork in place. A ductless system, on the other hand, only costs as much as $7,000 depending on the number of indoor units installed.

There are plenty of other reasons why a ductless heat pump is a smart investment:

  • Minimal energy losses – As much as 30 percent of the conditioned air that moves through a ducted system is lost before it reaches a room. Ductless heat pumps directly heat and cool the area with minimal energy losses.
  • Reduced energy consumption – Ductless heat pumps are usually more energy-efficient than their traditional central HVAC counterparts.
  • Greater ease-of-installation – Taking the ductwork out of the equation makes ductless heat pumps easier to install. There's no central cabinet, either – all you need is a small hole for running the plumbing and power conduit and the requisite mounting hardware.
  • Enhanced security – Window-mounted A/C units offer a tempting entry point for burglars to sneak through, putting your home and everything you hold valuable at risk. Wall-mounted ductless heat pumps completely eliminate this potential point of entry, thus making your home more secure.
  • Compliments existing heating systems – In moderate climates, a ductless heat pump can substitute for existing hot water, radiant and electric resistance heat systems on mild days. This strategy can help offset otherwise expensive utility costs.

Zoned HVAC with Ductless Systems

Just because you don't have ducts doesn't mean you'll miss out on advanced climate control features like zone heating and cooling. Instead of zone dampers, ductless systems use multiple air handling units placed in individual rooms, each unit tasked with controlling overall comfort in a single room.

Most ductless heat pumps are designed to accommodate up to four indoor units with just one outdoor unit. Each unit can be individually controlled, either from the room itself or through a centralized interface. This feature minimizes waste, as you can precisely heat and cool rooms as needed, instead of wasting energy on the entire home.

Depending on your home's heating and cooling needs, a ductless heat pump could be one of the best investments you've made for your home thus far.


30 March 2015

cleaning the air in your home

The quality of the air in your home is something that you should keep in mind every day. If the air that you breathe each day is filled with impurities, it can cause you to get sick more often and complicate matters if anyone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies. This blog is all about purifying the air in your home. You will learn everything about filtration systems and filters for your heating system to what you can do around the home to keep the air as clean as possible and create a healthy living space for your family.